How To Overcome Art Block With A Simple Creative Exercise

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Hi everyone! I’m Ivana from @notesncoffees on Instagram. During the last year of my degree, I experienced art block a couple of times. It was so frustrating when I finally had time to sit down and create after a long and busy week, and then my mind would just be blank. I would be staring at the paper in front of me, and nothing would come up, so in the end, I would just put it all away again. Sounds like something you can relate to? I can imagine! With our busy lives, it’s not that weird that sometimes it feels like we don’t have any space in our brains left for creativity. 

I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different ways to overcome art block and I’m going to share these tips with you and show you how you can use them for yourselves. 

This is what I used: 

  • Archer & Olive – A5 Green Leaf Dot Grid Notebook;
  • Acrylograph Pens Jewel Collection 0.7mm tip; 
  • A pencil;
  • An eraser;
  • A pigma Micron fineliner.

art block supplies

First, I made sure to combine all the tips I’ve gathered to overcome art block into a list. The list is available as a printable at the end of this blog, so you can tick off any of the boxes if you want to. I used some of the tips myself, and I will show you how it worked out next!

Let’s get inspired first! 

getting inspiration

For the first step, I went on Pinterest to get inspired. Lately I’ve been feeling really excited for Autumn and all of the coziness it will bring, so I just looked at a lot of pictures, doodles, art challenges and everything else Autumn related. After a while I got intrigued by a fall bucket list and that’s when I knew what I wanted to create: an Autumn bucket list in my bullet journal. 

fall bucket list inspiration

 

Let’s try a new artist tool! 

Absolutely nothing gets me more excited and inspired to create, then a new set of markers, pens, or brush pens. Especially if it’s something I’ve never tried before. So I had never tried Acrylographs before, so I made sure to make a little sample card with all of the different colors and techniques as a little reference. 

You start off by vigorously shaking the pen up and down and then ‘activate’ the pen by pressing down gently on the blending palette. The colors were so vibrant and opaque! In the Jewel collection are actually a few really nice Fall colors, so that was perfect for the bucket list. After making a reference card and trying out the cool blending techniques, it was time to get my journal out.

Acrylograph Pens

 

Let’s start fresh

I made sure to use a new page (in this case also a new journal which just felt extra special) to work on. The blank canvas feeling just inspires so many ideas to fill the page with, which feels so nice. 

new bullet journal

 

Let’s make a header for our bucket list 

I started out with a header for the page, called: Autumn bucket list. I had tried out the blending techniques with the Acrylographs (So. Cool!) and I used one of them to letter the header. First, you activate a darker shade (in my case dark red) and you get some of the paint on the palette. Then you get a lighter shade (in my case, a yellow color) and dip it in the paint. When I lettered the word Autumn, it created this amazing gradient in the lettering. I did the same for the words ‘bucket list’ with green and yellow. I also added a couple of smaller doodles to it, and there’s our header! 

autumn bucket list header

 

Let’s create some shapes

sketching out the spread

I used a pencil to sketch out some different shapes of where I wanted my doodles to be. Then I used the pencil and wrote down four things I wanted to be on this bucket list. 

I used the Acrylographs to fill in the shapes. They created these beautiful opaque shapes in really rich colors. I also really enjoyed the process of using the Acrylographs; the shaking, activating, and cleaning of the pens slows down the process and makes you mindful about what you are doing. 

After creating the shapes I used a Pigma Micron Fineliner to letter the activities on the bucket list. 

colored in spread

 

Let’s create our doodles! 

To create the doodles, I used the white Acryloraph from the Jewel Collection. This created such a vibrant effect! The white was also really opaque and was really easy to use on the other colors. It also didn’t smudge any of the colors because the paint dries so fast. I feel like drawing the doodles in white really made the page come to life and gave it such a fun touch. 

adding in doodles

To finish the page, I used the yellow Acrylograph again to make lots of little dots across the page to make it come all together.

Get this free printable to help you work through your art block too!

art block printable

 

My thoughts on the process

I honestly had so much fun while making this. I went into it without any expectations and had so much fun in the process. The tips helped me to create something I am genuinely really excited about and put me in the Fall mood even more (I didn’t even know that was possible!). I had a really nice morning creating something for myself and also the Acrylographs really helped me to slow down and enjoy what I was doing. I hope these tips will help any of you experiencing art block as much as they helped me! 

finished project

If you would like to create along with me, check out my video here:

If you liked any of the Archer and Olive products I used make sure to use my code notesncoffees10 to get 10% off on your purchase! 😊 And if you liked my style be sure to check out my Instagram account @notesncoffees!  

Lots of love, Ivana

2 comments

  • Thanks for the beautiful tips! It came at the perfect moment, since I haven’t felt like doodling in my BuJo much recently. I’ll definitely try some of them out in future!!!

    BwB on

  • The Art Block Help truly lives up to it’s title. Thank you!

    SUNNIE WILSON on

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